Huawei loses groundbreaking global-patents case in London
The UK’s highest court has decided English courts have the power to set licensing rates for global standard essential patents (SEPs).
The landmark ruling in Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant Wireless v Huawei & ZTE defines the licensing of patented technology considered essential to the international standards for previous and future generations of wireless telecommunications technology.
Holders of SEPs must agree to license their technology to third parties on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
Most importantly, this ruling will enable SEP holders to insist that implementers, like Huawei, take out global licenses covering all of their portfolios.
If they fail to do this, they risk being subject to injunctions restricting their ability to access the UK market.
The practical effect is that implementers cannot insist on SEP holders proving their patents in every jurisdiction in the world, something which would be both practically and economically prohibitive for smaller companies.
Otherwise, as the Supreme Court observed, “implementers who were infringing the patents would have an incentive to continue infringing.”
As the UK looks for new meaning in a post-Brexit world, this decision places English courts as a potential hub for global patent litigation (being a civil case, the ruling only applies in England and Wales).
To read the complete article, visit Light Reading.